Wednesday, September 28, 2005

PAP? No, ST Bugs Me More.

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

Today's XenoBoy op-ed dedicated to the Straits Times' Carl Skadian. ST Journalists' Blogging Handbook 102.

For killing bloggers like :
Molly Meek (,

For tarring bloggers like :
Mr Wang (,
Mr Loy (,
Mr Diodati (,
Mr Lim (, and of course,
Mr Agagooga (
and all the rest, good, bad and ugly.

For you, Skadian, I tar all of you too.
Updated : Thanks to Mr Jeff Yen (
Fully updated, thanks to Mr Steven McDermott (
PAP? No, ST Bugs Me More.

With morally righteous and pro-establishment articles on the ST, how do we keep kids from believing everything they read?

By XenoBoy

The past few weeks have thrown up another worry about children and the newspapers, as if bloggers don't have enough on their hands.
I'm talking about the Straits Times.
As a Sg blogger, I'm naturally wary of ST already, mainly because ST journalists are wont to throw objectivity out of the window.
That's because regime criticism seems to be the last thing on ST journalists' minds, unlike, say blogs which, for the most part, do their darnedest to make sure that they question the validity of State policies.
For ST journalists, saying what the regime wants them to say seems to be de rigueur, consequences be damned. Now, the ST have never generated much controversy, but what happened here about two weeks ago takes the cake.
Just in case you missed it: Three people were charged with making racist comments in their blogs. They allegedly made seditious and inflammatory remarks about Malays and Muslims. And we suddenly have an onslaught of ST articles teaching bloggers how to be responsible, followed by another barrage of articles with a fetish for blogging doom.
In one particularly galling incident, one of the journalists, actually maligned the entire community of bloggers. That just about did it for me and ST articles. I'm sad the authorities did not haul the journalist to court. If they had done so, it will send a message to like-minded ST journalists that they'd better start putting the brain before the pen.
As far as I'm concerned, ST articles are possibly the worst things about Singapore media. Sure, the PAP and governance stuff rightly furrows the brows of parents, but the things some ST journalists say go far beyond the pale.
I have read some of these ST articles, chiefly because some sane bloggers occasionally publish such views in their blogs, to raise a red flag about what goes on in there.
Frankly, most of the ST articles just beggar belief. The amount of regime flattery will leave you speechless. And all the talk about ST's independence of viewpoints is just so much bull to me. You read about cases of journalists who have acted with a commitment to their profession despite a stream of political pressure from those who don't agree with what they say.
But the ST journalists will encourage this political pressure and pour petrol on the fire of their fellow professionals' pyre.
But then there're the sporting and comics pages. Sporting and comics are innocent enough. The rest of the paper may be terrible and floundering in relative obscurity but sports and comics help boost readership of the ST.
In the case of the three charged under the Sedition Act, there was worse to come.
After news of the charges broke, some ST journalists made comments that seemed far from the realm of common sense to me. Here were three people charged with making inflammatory statements -- in a society where being tolerant is constantly drummed into us, no less -- and ST journalists were unworried about the chilling effect of the use of the Sedition Act in the general media landscape.
They were applauding this use of State power and proclaiming that the State is right again in policing the Big, Bad and Dangerous Internet.
They had got to be joking. I wonder where can we find journalists who are unworried about the Sedition Act being used, even if it is in the Internet medium.
Sure, the three accused were indeed racist and warranted punishment, but to use the Sedition Act and for journalists to applaud this with a standing ovation smacks of professional irresponsibility and strategic short-sighteness. Many of the ST journalists I have come across have both in abundance.
As I said, ST articles, to me, is the biggest danger out there. It's also given me more work to do when it comes to my children.
Now, I have to find a way to keep my kids from believing what they read when they come across such ST articles.
My children and relatives come from a diverse spectrum of races and religious beliefs. Already, they're asking some hard questions about the state of the world today, especially when it comes to acts of terrorism committed since 9/11.
Sometimes, without thinking, they mouth certain things after reading or watching a news item that I then have to catch.
With all these influences around them these days, irresponsible ST journalists are not going to help.

Quotes of the Day --

"For land that's dry and unfruitful will give you good crops, if you put on enough manure...I mean, your grace's words have been like manure spread on the barren ground of my dry and uncultivated mind ... I am in my right mind, now, clear-headed and free of the murky darkness of ignorance, brought upon me by my continual, bitter reading of those abominable books of chivalry." -- Cervantes, Don Quixote

"If you condition them to believe everything in their National Education classes, in the ST, in Channel NewsAsia, etc, then they will inevitably tend to believe everything an inflammatory, venomous, seditious, subversive blogger has to say since you have effaced their critical abilities" -- Molly Meek, Anouncement (

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

ST Journalists' Blogging Handbook -- Responsibility in Article Writing

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Svant.
Normally, I do not do this since my focus is on politics. However, since the Straits Times has taken on an edifying role for bloggers like me, teaching me how to blog responsibly, how to stay within OB markers, how to avoid defamation suits, how to avoid Sedition, I feel compelled to return the favour. For all the journalists out there doing a piece on blogging, I present a 101 for how to report responsibly on this weird phenomenon known as blogging.
What is a blog? -- Before you pen the article. You have to ask this basic philosophical question. Yes a blog is an online journal. But there are also blogs which are not online journals, for example, Singabloodypore is not a personal online journal. Some websites like New Sintercom and Void Deck are using 'blogging software' which makes the site 'look like' a blog. Yes, my dear journalists, revelatory indeed. When you report on blogs, you have to "read" the blogs (a process commonly referred as research) and from thence, understand what 'type' of blog it is. Yes, my dear journalist, there is a typology to blogs. We have to get the type of blogs right before we write.
The comments within a blog? -- Do not roll your eyes, my dear journalist, and ask why this is important? Many, many times, journalists forget the simple comments function in a blog. In the comments, sometimes, you find more racist and more seditious entries than what is blogged by the blogger. Many, many times, the comments functions of blogs are left open, an invitation by the blogger to engage and challenge her/his views. It becomes like a debate. YOU have the RIGHT to challenge the blogger and call her/his bluff. Expose their lies. And my dear journalists, do you know something?? When you expose bloggers' lies via debate and engagement, the REST of the blogging community will say "Ah this blog is a fraud, it sucks". Unlike as kids when someone loses, and the brat brays "I call mata, you bully me". this form of victory is more powerful in cyber-world. Yes journalists, comments comments comments, the function must not be forgotten when you pen the responsible article.

Etiquette and tips for interviews -- Ahh yes my dear journalists, your bread and butter, the little nuggets that will spice up your article, give it that necessary spin. #1 Some bloggers are not in Singapore, there is a notion of Time Difference, hence your e-mails to them may not be expeditiously replied. So bear with the blogger, factor this in your deadlines #2 Other than the usual lawyer suspects, whose legal expertise are assiduously courted and quoted by journalists but who know naught the difference between a RSS feed and R2D2, lo and behold, there are actually legally trained bloggers who actually blog!!!! Imagine my dear journalists, there are bloggers who are white-collar professionals! Lawyers, doctors, consultants, teachers, lecturers, historians, writers, artists, journalists even! By getting a quote from one 'within' who is less bland and less banal, ohh wonderfully responsible article it becomes.
Use of Sensational Netspeak -- My dear journalists, in the Google datasphere, there will be numerous records explaining commonly used terms in cyberspace. An example is this sexy term "flamewar". Such flamewars arise usually when a debate turns stupid. Common derogatory themes become employed by the 'loser' of the argument, example : racial slurs, swear words, gynealogy and lineage aspersions, nasty political categorizations and the ilk. There are others like 'lurkers' and 'trolls' which sound charming and sensational but mean quite innocent fun.

The above is 101. As a further extension of my graciousness in the face of infinite grace from you, my dear ST journalist, I extend an edited article on blogging which has raised some ire with bloggers for some fallacies.
Come my dear journalists, hold my hand and walk away from this fetish with doom for all things Net and all things blog. Embrace the fear that our children have in them the capacity to infinite Light.
I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
Now my dear readers, do something responsible and sign the petition for the Rebel :
Quote of the Day : "But even the habitues of the chthonic forces of terror, who carry their volumes of Klages in their packs, will not learn one-tenth of what nature promises its less idly curious but more sober children, who possess in technology not a fetish of doom but a key to happiness" -- Walter Benjamin, Theories of German Fascism, (1999)

By Sandra Davie & Liaw Wy-Cin, Edited Responsibly by XenoBoy
Free speech may be the buzzword on the Internet - but sometimes criticism goes over the boil and feelings get hurt.
When teachers' feelings are hurt, the rod comes down. Five junior college students were punished for posting critical remarks about two teachers and a vice-principal online.
The students, all girls, were made to remove the remarks from their Internet diaries, or blogs, and suspended for three days last month. Their parents were also informed. The case is not an isolated one. Of the 31 secondary schools and junior colleges contacted, 18 said they were seeing more such incidents as the number of bloggers surges.
Bloggers believe that such a phenomenon reflects the changed demographics of Singapore society today as well as the imperatives of creativity in the education system. It is no longer realistic to encourage creativity on one hand, and stifle expression simultaneously.
Some school administrators do not see it this way though. Seven secondary schools and two JCs have asked bloggers who criticise or insult their teachers online to remove the hurtful remarks. One such remark referred to a secondary school teacher as a 'prude' for disciplining a student for wearing a too-short skirt. 'Frustrated old spinster. Can't stand to see attractive girls,' the blog read. At which point was the line between creative expression and hurt crossed? This remains a subjective question to be answered by school administrators; in this case answered conservatively. Bloggers have however, urged sensibility in such applications of punishment; as the world has changed, so too, responses to criticism.
Tanglin Secondary science and PE teacher Tham Kin Loong said: 'I've had vulgarities hurled against me, my parents and my whole family in some students' blogs.' The 33-year-old added: 'Most of them do not realise the legal implications of what they are writing in such a public domain.' An anonymous teacher mentioned however, that her way of dealing with online criticism was to talk to the student and find out where she went wrong because more often than not, such criticsm cannot be found in the classroom. While there are certainly some colorful expletives hurled in cyberspace, the teacher noted that this was no different from the past. A student-teacher relationship is always dynamic.
Litigation remains an option if teachers wish to sue for defamation, they may have legal grounds to do so. Singapore Teachers' Union general secretary Swithun Lowe said the union is ready to back any teacher who wants to take legal action. While the teachers appreciated Union assistance, they believed that a reasonable middle ground could be struck and more importantly, as teachers, they did 'not want to affect the prospects of their young students'.
Lawyers say students can be sued for defamation, even if a teacher is not named. 'As long as someone is able to identify the teacher, and it is an untrue statement that affects his reputation or livelihood, then the student is liable,' said Ms Doris Chia of Harry Elias and Partners. An injunction can be taken to get the student to remove the blog and issue an apology, she added.
Lawyer and blogger, Mr Wang, notes however that such criticism must be taken with a pinch of salt. Steering the discourse away from law and litigation, he believes that such "honest, brutal criticism" is indicative of the need to train young Singaporeans to speak up and be of independent mind.
Blogging is a reality and schools have recognised it. Many English and General Paper teachers encourage it to improve students' language and writing skills. Schools also said they do not police blogs. They say they only check them after complaints are made. 'And if we feel that the remark is untrue or unfair, then we expect the student to apologise,' said Raffles Institution vice-principal S. Magendiran. An un-named teacher has however experienced students whose grades have improved after they were encouraged to blog. She explains that like all technologies blogging can of course, be exploited, however, it can also be turned for good. In the end, it all boils down to common sense and a common ground of understanding between the student and the teacher.
The recent cases of two young men and a teen charged with making seditious and inflammatory remarks about Muslims on the Net understandably has no relation to such student criticism and cannot be conflated with such school action. Blogging has become a "raging phenonmenon" among the youth of Singapore and it is fundamentally a good way of exercising one's writing skills, creativity and thinking ability. It is important for schools, even as they make such calls to punish hurtful remarks, to understand this shift in Singapore's educational landscape and come to terms with it.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Reflections on Rebel Associations

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Svant.
The State has spoken on criminality in cyberspace. The example of the racist bloggers serves as the Signal. For once, perhaps, the paralysis of the State's instruments of power has been broken. Political sanction granted. Let the hunt begin. Buoyed by the victory of the Sedition Cases, law enforcement in Singapore proceeds along the next step of technological advancement and psychological finesse. Suspicion by association. Where association = your self stored in a sim card. Your self collected as a hyper-link.
To single out Omeka Na Huria (aka Jacob George) from the Singapore Rebel's handphone is evidently un-random. The Rebel's handphone cannot contain only one entry. Have all been called up? I doubt so. Will all be called up? I do not think so. Will the process proceed to the hyperlinks in Rebel's blog? Why not? (winks desperately at MollyMeek: flirting with death) For a historically documented example of such State strategy at work, the systematic investigation and ferreting of State dissent, please refer to Treason by the Book, Jonathan D Spence.
Enough rhetorical questions, after all,
I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
This is a containment strategy against the Rebel. Fear employed tactically. First, isolate the Rebel, thresh the weak ones away, the fly-by-wire supporters. Second, test the resolve of his remaining associations. Third, reap the investigative benefits of instilled fear. Good cop Bad cop. In this instance, the bad cop is invisible. The Crawler sifting through the Rebel's digital self. Like the infamous LA Confidential interrogation scene, you break the weakest link. Which bird sings first? No. Which bird I think, sang.
No. There is no Mr Dumb Policeman here. The evidential imperatives override the public image imperatives. An investigative strategy and process is cranking up here. That this strategy follows close on the heels of the Sedition Cases is in and of itself illuminating. From ethical standpoints, the Sedition Cases and the Political Film case are different. It is plain to see, it is the crux of the divisive blogosphere debates over the Sedition Cases. But the Law is blind when it chooses to be. No more cheeky White Elephants.
This is Foucauldian Panopticism writ at State level. The mental uncertainty evoked by the Law's blind gaze assures discipline. Uncertainty is the crucial element to instil discipline. Vague Terror. Discipline. Responsibility. Does it see or is it blind?
Crippled by our fears, we are silenced in a mirror chamber.
Move the fear to happiness. Sing the song of capital. The Rally Speech promised change? A happier Singapore. Happy and good Singapore.
But why am I still oh-so-depressed?
I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
Quote of the Day : "Sometimes, home feels so much like a foreign country, I have to remind myself that it's all a mirage really. The country has got itself a brand new hip wardrobe ... but really, deep down inside, maybe it's not that different from when I left it to live somewhere else" -- Monica Gwee, taken from Gretchen Liu's, Singapore, a Pictorial History (1819 - 2000)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Writing Out CyberCaust

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

The news is out again. The third blogger to be charged for Sedition = Racism is unveiled. This blogger is the so-called Holocaust owner who was featured in Tomorrow. Again, I reiterate, there are no grounds for arguing about content specifics, this latest accused was racist and perhaps, more so than the first two. Racism is racism. Free speech is free speech. No conflation of the two as it will only muddy the view in front of us. The case is over. All three will be charged and found guilty because they have indeed transgressed.

This is brutally beautiful politics. A sure-winner case but yet in its intangibles it offers so much more for the regime. In one decisive stroke, Government has won over the argument that cyberspace is a badlands. Simultaneously, it assures all to have no fear, the Law of the White will still prevail. As a bonus, it recruits an army of cyber-vigilantes. All the while still managing to preserve its sacrosanct pillar of racial and religious harmony. Brutally beautiful.

What is the simple but stark view for those remaining in cyberspace?

Three persons charged for Sedition in cyberspace where sedition means inciting ill-will against another group of people, in this case, through racist discourse. A case in which the Government will win. Racial and religious harmony, the mantra of the Pledge, a foundation of Singapore, indeed the raison d'etre for separation from Malaya and the forced birth of Singapore. Images of racial riots in 64 and 69 constantly evoked outside of Time, outside of History.

Cyber-vigilante groups proposed to patrol Singapore cyberspace to ferret out the seditious ones. Whisperers and whistlers, potentially worse than the Stasi or the Gestapo. Inquisitor fanatics disguised as the vanguard of the Pure. Lurkers with a purpose now, armed with the Sedition Act, patrolling cyberspace, hunting down the racists. The morality essentialists telling you : No, you are wrong. And so, you shall burn.

Media onslaught on political blogging, responsible blogging and the Catch-22 OB markers which remain undefined, two empty letters O and B, means nothing but yet hint of darker meanings still : a vague terror to complement the lurking whisperers. The traditional media has its revenge. New media? Hah! The law is here too. Be responsible as we are responsible. Be controlled as we are controlled. Strait Jacketed as we are Strait Jacketed.

Like the Terrorist who has tainted all Arabs in the medium of political struggle. So too, this three fuckers will taint all Singapore essayists in the medium of politics in cyberspace.

The choices left. Die and resurrect yourselves as like AcidFlask, Gilbert and most recently, Molly Meek, for discursive renewal. Write, write and write.

Until the Government is responsible.
Until the media is responsible.

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

Quotes of the Day :
"It would be crazy to think that a chameleon has turned into a tree. But the chameleon would love you to think that things are changing a lot, things are opening up etc. A symptom of the schizophrenic oscillation between openness and conservatism." -- Was There a Sedition Case? Molly Meek
"Your Lordship will have a better understanding than his servant of the disastrous gravity of the thesis put forth by Luther: he wants to strip the Holy See of its greatest bulwark, the weapon of excommunication ... so I have thought it opportune to do so myself, so that Your Lordship may have time to take all the precautions he considers necessary to stop this diabolical friar" Q, Luther Blissett

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Sedition by the Blog

January 31
Imperial Edict
Emperor Qian Long
Zeng Jing and Zhang Xi are seditious, rebellious, treacherous,lawless. On the grounds that their slanders were aimed only at his own person, my late imperial father (the late Emperor YongZheng), with a sagacity akin to that of Heaven, chose to spare them from death. Furthermore, he expressly ordered that his own sons and grandsons must not, at any time in the future, reopen the case and punish them with death or dismemberment. But though the late emperor, in his own day, chose to be lenient, I at this present day find it impossible to be so compassionate. Though the two ways that we have chosen to handle this case appear to be so different, yet he and I have the same view of natural principles and of human emotions. Besides which, in their anger and their resentment, the hundreds of millions of our people, whether officials or commoners, all want to see justice and punishments promptly and correctly applied according to the standards of today. How can I stand against the feelings my people have about the nature of the common good and evil? Let Zeng Jing and Zhang Xi, in accordance with the law, be executed by being sliced to death.

Taken from,
Jonathan D Spence
Treason By The Book (2001)

Monday, September 12, 2005

SHATTERING THE ILLUSION -- No Cheeky White Elephants

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

The news is out. Two bloggers charged under the Sedition Act for racist remarks. My entry will not be to debate about racism on the Net versus freedom of expression. That is simplistic argument based on simplistic understandings and applications of both concepts of racism and freedom of expression.
The crucial point, which I hope, legal researchers/experts out there with the local resources can do, is to study when the last time the Sedition Act was used in Singapore and in what context. This piece of research will be most illuminating in understanding the ramifications of this latest piece of brute force cyber-tactics by the Government.
There is a softer regulating mechanism to enact against the bloggers. The infamous SBA and now MDA content regulations guidelines policy, which was based on some paragraphs of the Sedition Act, was not used. Instead, the Full Force of the Law was applied. This is a signal. An indication of intent. No cheeky white elephants.

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
Let me move my entry to a more positive note. Hopefully, a quick echo before the Silence, both enforced and conditioned, settles in blogosphere.
The assumption that surveillance of the Internet by the Government machinery is benign and based on a slap-in-the-hand policy is thankfully fully shattered. For fellow bloggers, it is important to awaken to this reality and uphold your spirit.
This is politics at work. The choice of political weapon used in this case is calibrated and deliberate. There are no grounds, in the Singapore socio-political context, to defend oneself against stirring racial disharmony when the State arrays such charges onto you. Remember Tang Liang Hong? Racial and religious harmony is one of the enshrined foundations of Singapore. The Government System is on a sure-winner case.
If a sure-winner, why then use the Sedition Act? An archaic Act. A clumsy Act. The target is at the medium of the cyberspace. Nothing more. Nothing less. Sedition in the slipstream of cyber-reality, where you wish the power of the word on the screen translates to Hope but makes you Pensive instead.
The Rally Speech promised Change. Change equally applied to both ends of the political use of State power.
To my fellow guerilla bloggers. The Un-Named ones. To be silenced is to capitulate. Refuse this. Create a 'ruptural unity'.
I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
Quote of the Day : "Just as at the dawn of Human History the first stammerings of the Oriental Spirit ?joyous captive of the giants of the sky, the sea and the desert, and then of its own stone bestiary ?already betrayed the unconscious presage of the future achievements of the Absolute Spirit, so in each instant of Time the past survives in the form of a memory of what it has been; that is, as the whispered promise of its present. That is why the past is never opaque on an obstacle. -- Louis Althusser, Contradiction & Over-Determination (1962)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Fiction of the Oppressed

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
Over at Mr Wang's eminently interesting blog ( is his latest entry on a Singapore poet, Cyril. Among the comments is one that struck me, why are gays over-represented in the Arts and creative scene in Singapore and in general.

The answer can be found in the works of Walter Benjamin. A thinker among many other professions, Benjamin is perhaps most recognized for his highly quotable Theses on the Philosophy of History. In this seminal work, which has tortured many critical theorists, Benjamin touches on the tradition of the oppressed. It is the vanquished of History who are most sensitive to the monads of possibility : the possibility of breaking out of History's inexorable march of progress. The oppressed senses the opportunity, to brush History against the grain and break a path out of the continuum.

Gays in Singapore and around the world exist in conditions of varying constraints. In Singapore, especially, the constraint is instrumentalised at State level and conditioned at Society level. In its actualization, the sovereign power (nomos empsuchon) has banished gays from society. Exiled. Because gays exist outside the juridico-legal framework. Illegalized.

The paradoxical situation? By this relationship of the ban, or the act of banishment, the gay/banished remains in relation with the Sovereign. Inside and outside simultaneously. Other marginalised groups in the world exist in such paradoxical relationships : the pre-war Jews, the Kurds, the Lepers, the Untouchables, the Other.

When a banished exists outside the System, outside the System that produces the Facts, establishes the Truth and defines the Law, he/she exists as a Fiction, desubjectified. Fiction is your only defining Self. You produce the ficciones to make sense of your condition. Not only gays but all the Other who have been exiled/banished. Sometimes, and sometimes only, one banished, achieves a ficcione powerful enough to shred the Defined System of Facts and establish a new Time. Martin Luther, Toussaint L'oventure, Gandhi, Martin Luther King.

The pen is mightier indeed. It is mightier not for conveying truth but for tearing truth to pieces.
I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

Quote of the Day : "It is not a circumstantial liberty conceded to us that we wish, but the unequivocal adoption of the principle that no man, whether he be born red, black or white, can become the property of his fellowmen." -- Toussaint L'oventure to Napoleon Bonarparte in the Haiti Revolution

Friday, September 02, 2005

Weak Links & Ethics

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

Today I will blog not about politics or about kiddie rides or Catch-33 situations. Today, I blog about blogs. Specifically, the issue between Mr Wang and Tomorrow about linking policies.

In blogosphere, there are two types of blogs. Personal and non-personal. The recent NTU study on weblogethics summarises this differentiation neatly. The latter blogs thrive on massive hyper-linking to establish a common network of activism/consiousness. Strength in numbers. The former type blogs thrive on linking too but within close friends, trusted friends. A closed network existing in the mother of all open source networks. It is a closed network not by dint of technology but by dint of content and intent.

If Tomorrow is an aggregator that functions by machine logic, the differentiation as stated above is inconsequential. Machine logic rules, crawler grabs and publishes. But there is a board of editors, humans and bloggers running the show. And there is an assumpton of human logic at work.

Quite way before Mr Wang raised this issue of the linking policies of Tomorrow, citing the cases of the rich girl and the pregnant girl. Blogger supremo, Elia Dodati, had already questioned Tomorrow's logic in putting the blog of the pregnant girl up. He urged sensibility too. Not everyone wants celebrity status.

The argument cited by Tomorrow is simple. Its there, its open, if I do not see it, others will and hence, by extension it should be shown. If we do not do it like this, it is inimical to blogging and the spirit of blogging. Inherent in this logic is of course, concepts of self-censorship, freedom of speech and the ilk.

I can think only of an example of history and the writing of history. In the 80s, there arose this movement in German historiography, which was the unfortunate product of Hayden White's post-modernist application of text and history. The simplistic application of the post-modernist argument that all text is a produced narrative, including primary source historical texts, means that the Holocaust did not happen. The Jews did not die in the manner that had been interpreted. The nihil was a historical narrativist production.

The recovery of this crisis in historical writing lies in ethics. This is the simple but singularly most powerful point in Mr Wang's entry on this blogging issue and he aptly titled his entry as such. It is ethics that saves the historian from the slippage of relativism. There are enough philophies, isms, cliche banners to justify anything in this world. Which is why Holocausts like Rwanda, Yugoslavia still occur. Ethics simple not philosophies simplistic.

In his latest comment on this issue, Mr Wang alludes to something which perhaps, Tomorrow we will know. I XenoBoy, the Political Savant, too have heard rumblings from my little birds in the machinery of Sg Government. The test will indeed come if a blogger featured on Tomorrow gets snared by the Gods and how then the Champions of Freedom of Speech/Expression will react. The pedestals of freedom of speech, freedom of expression are hallowed with the blood of many worthy heroes, do not use them lightly.

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

Quote of the Day:"... you try to imagine the word on the screen becoming a thing in the world, taking all its meanings, its sense of serenities and contentments out into the streets somehow, its whisper of reconciliation ... but its only a sequence of pulses on a dullish screen and all it can do is make you pensive" -- Don DeLillo, Underworld